Minturn Saloon sold to Vail-area locals
Anthony and Connie Mazza, known for starting Village Bagel in Edwards, will take over the historic saloon
The Minturn Saloon officially has new owners, according to a press release sent Friday afternoon.
The building was listed for sale in October by longtime owners Steve Campbell and Andy Kaufman, who have been running the Saloon since 1986. Built in 1901, the building has been owned by only four different families in the past 120 years.
The release announces Anthony and Connie Mazza are the new primary owners. The husband and wife culinary duo are longtime locals who have made a name for themselves in the valley’s restaurant scene. Most recently the two started Village Bagel in Edwards in 2016 out of their home and grew it into the busy bagel bakery it is today in Edwards.
“They will own the restaurant with a small group of investors from New York and Denver that have close and longstanding ties to the Vail Valley and the Saloon,” the release states. “This group of investors bought the real estate with the intention of preserving the iconic restaurant and letting Connie and Anthony operate the day-to-day at the restaurant.”
The Mazzas expressed their commitment to maintaining the Saloon’s character, which has long been a staple of the town. The Minturn Saloon is at the celebratory endpoint of the Minturn Mile, where skiers and snowboarders can access the town from Vail Mountain via the out-of-bounds run. The Denver Post once called the Minturn Saloon one of the “most historic and iconic restaurants in Colorado,” and Esquire magazine has listed the Minturn Saloon as one of the best bars in America every year since 2007.
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“Like so many Vail Valley locals and visitors, our group can’t imagine this community without the Saloon,” Connie Mazza said. “It’s such a nostalgic place for so many people, and when given the opportunity to keep it running, it struck an emotional chord. We love restaurants that celebrate the way things used to be and that aren’t afraid to remain old fashioned in a world that’s always changing.”
“We have the best memories at the Saloon sitting around the wood-burning fire with friends and family members, some who are no longer with us. And let’s not forget all the knee-deep powder turns that took us right to a pitcher of Saloon margaritas after the Minturn Mile. Inside the walls of the Saloon lives a history book of happy memories, funny moments and questionable activities.”
As 35-year-owners Kaufman and Campbell said when they bought the place from Bob Cherry in 1986, the new owners will “not only preserve it but make it better.”
“It’s time to pass the baton to someone with the energy it takes to keep things vital and fresh,” Kaufman said.
“We are excited to have Anthony and Connie taking the reins. I think the Saloon holds a special place in their hearts as it does ours. Day one that we got in the Saloon, we treated it like we had a historical responsibility to maintain and protect what is a unique building in Eagle County as well as Colorado.”
The Mazzas plan to operate the Minturn Saloon almost as is through the winter, and then plan on shutting down once the ski season ends for enhancements to the kitchen, bar and bathrooms. The new owners want to celebrate the history of the Saloon, but get creative with food and drinks inspired by Western saloon fare when they reopen after improvements.
“There are so many elements to the restaurant that are iconic and steeped in craftsmanship, so it will be a delicate balance refurbishing the historic bar and restaurant while making it durable so it continues to thrive,” Mazza said.